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My experience with purchasing TGV tickets

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Mar 28th, 2014, 07:49 AM
  #1
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My experience with purchasing TGV tickets

We will be traveling from the Avignon TGV station to Marne a Vallee on Saturday June 28 at 12:45, There are two of us. The earliest that tickets are available for purchase is on March 28. However, 00:05 March 28 in France is 16:05 March 27 (yesterday) in California where we live, France goes on daylight savings time this coming weekend.

After wrestling for a decade with the SNCF site, I tried the Capitane site. World of difference - much better. I managed to purchase tickets for two people for 90E total.

Here is a little history:
- For several days preceding March 27 in Calif, I kept track of fares. At around 00:30 France time, the fares for travel on Tues June 24 & Wed the 25th were 90E - and are still 90E today. On Thurs the 26th PREMS jumped to 128E and are still 128E. On Friday the 27th, there were no PREMS available, and the losier fares were 274E and are still 274E.

- On June 28 (our date of travel) at 00:07 I booked 90E fares total for two. I checked at 00:20 and the PREM fares had jumped to 128E. At 01:00 both the SNCF & Capitane sites were not operating properly. At 06:00 the PREMS were gone, & only losier fares for 228E were available. At 14:00 the losier fares had jumped to 238E for two.

Just thought you might like to know!!!

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 07:53 AM
  #2
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The above was for first-class travel.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Note to self, if I want cheap TGV tickets stay up late to beat those pesky Californians .
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Mar 28th, 2014, 07:59 AM
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Right now the SNCF site is showing the following fares for June 28th:

30.00€ at 9h48
106.00€ at 12h45
43.00€ at 13h20
91.00€ at 14h51
53.00€ at 15h21
43.00€ at 16h14
37.00€ at 18h52

(this is per person, of course)
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Mar 28th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Oh, just noticed the bit about 1st class.
That puts the fares at:
164.00€
164.00€
192.70€
164.00€
164.00€
164.00€
164.00€

verdict: I would suffer in 2nd class.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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During my fare exploration, there was one occurrence of a 1st class fare that was actually less than the 2nd class fare.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 09:01 AM
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All that to book a ride on a train months from now. No thanks. When I got to Avignon, if I got to Avignon and didn't decide to go somewhere else in the meantime, I'd go to the station and buy a ticket, if I decided to go to Paris from Avignon.

Itineraries and reservations put blinders to opportunity on the traveller and turn them into tourists on a tour.

Nothing personal Stu, to each his own. I just don't like pre-planning travel beyond A.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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Adding in informational note: we booked the following on Capitaine in December for March travel:

Paris - Barcelona (Barcelone)
-----------------------------
Saturday 15 march 2014:

• 14:07 Paris-Gare-de-Lyon
• 20:40 Barcelona Sants
• TGV 9715
• Passengers: Thomas, Ann
• Car 11, Seats 75, 76
Price: 198.00 € (in First, DH insists)

Note to dulci -- your way of travel sounds like fun, but with limited time off work until retirement we find that we need to plan ahead to go where we want to go.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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>>Itineraries and reservations put blinders to opportunity on the traveller and turn them into tourists on a tour.<<

Should be "....put blinders to opportunity on me and turn me into a tourist on a tour".

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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great info especially for those of us trying to learn and understand.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 09:34 AM
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Dulci's way of travelling is fun, if you have the time and the money, and are willing to risk not getting a hotel in Paris (or wherever) when your whim takes you there.

We wing it, but buy car, so no room at the inn we can easily move on to the next one. If I were travelling by train I too would want the best price ticket and the certainty of a bed to sleep on at my destination..
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Mar 28th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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We go to an area, spend two weeks in a gite there, I do a lot of research to determine the possibilities of things to do & see in the area - and then we visit "things" based on the weather, our inclination/mood at the moment, market days, store/site closing days, etc. Then on to the next gite for 2 weeks. We usually do this for 4-5 weeks in the June time frame, and again in Sept. Gites are reserved a year in advance, airline tickets booked 11 months in advance, and train tickets reserved 3 months in advance.

When we arrive at a Gite on Saturday, we'll have already reserved the restaurant for Sat night. We always cook dinner at the Gite on Sunday. I have a list of all the restaurants recommended in the Red Michelin Guide that are within a 30 min drive from the Gite, and we "check them out" the first few days at the gite & then reserve dinner for the ones we like the most. For a 2 week stay, we normally "dine out" 8 times and "cook in" 6 times.

We've been following this routine since 1999 when we retired early so we could travel more. We've stayed in 54 gites for a total of 89 weeks, plus several months at apts in Paris, St Tropez, Rome, Tuscany, and Nice.

Last year we traveled to Europe 3 times, and two other years we spent pre-Christmas in Paris in addition to the June/Sept trips.

This works perfectly for us!!!!!

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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>>plus several months at apts in Paris, St Tropez, Rome, Tuscany, and Nice.<<

and London.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 28th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #14
 
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Our TVG travel day is July 1, so I've been planning to stay at my computer on March 31 from 12:00 midnight Paris time until the July 1 ticket prices are posted. I'm wondering how the change to daylight savings time will affect meWhen exactly does the France daylight saving time start?
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Mar 28th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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Jim, the clocks go forward this coming Sunday at 1am, throughout Europe.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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So do you think that will affect the time that the July 1 tickets go on sale?
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Mar 29th, 2014, 12:00 AM
  #17
 
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Jim (and other just for info),

There are already TGV tickets on sale even before the "4 month sale date" that you hear about. If you go to the website idtgv.com, you can buy tickets right now for the first of July...

These tickets are not sold by the SNCF itself, but by a separate company which "sublets" the TGV train wagons. We use them all the time since they tend to be cheaper even than SNCF PREM prices, especially when you buy well in advance. Ex: right now you can get one way tickets from Paris to Aix for September for 19 euros. That's hard to beat !

- Kevin
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Mar 29th, 2014, 04:44 AM
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Yes, Stu, it's true -- I have often encountered 1st class fares lower than the 2nd class fares. Obviously there is no "rhyme nor reason" to this since it is just the pricing software using the rules that were programmed into it, but it is always very nice to find, and I often jump on trains like that even if they are not exactly at the time when I was planning to travel.

I do hope that everybody knows that the SNCF site provides an overview of all of the lowest fares of the month for people who have flexibility in their scheduling.
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Mar 29th, 2014, 05:03 AM
  #19
 
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Just checked the idtgv site. The best price from Paris to Avignon on July 1 is 36 euro. When I look at Capitaine Train the best PREM fare for June 29 is 25 euro so I'm hoping that fare will be available. I don't know how the daylight saving time will affect when that is posted but I guess I'll just stay at my computer until it is.
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Mar 29th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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I had no trouble purchasing our summer tickets on SNCF. I could not use Capitaine because there is a max of 5 tickets and we are a group of 6.

I also booked tickets on the day they were available in order to secure PREMS. I was able to book CDG - Bordeaux for E159 and Bordeaux - Paris for E120 (totals not each). I was able to book about 6pm CST as tickets were loaded just after midnight Paris time for our dates. My tickets are printed and in my trip binder waiting for June.
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